Mortgage rates fell yesterday afternoon as benchmark Treasury yields fell and mortgage backed security prices rallied. MBS price appreciations were quite sizeable, allowing many lenders to reprice for the better, which lowered mortgage rates. While AQ outlined a variety of technical reasons behind the rally in bond markets, the best explanation was weakness in stocks which pushed money into safer government-backed Treasury securities.

There were no scheduled economic releases or Fed speakers today. Today was the last Friday trading session of 2009!

On a side note, Ben Bernanke was reconfirmed yesterday as Federal Reserve Chairman by a vote of 16 to 7, the vote  now goes to the Senate when session resumes in late January.  The debate to confirm Bernanke was highly contested.  I am you think he should have been reconfirmed or should he have been replaced?

After making a modest recovery following the release of the FOMC statement on Wednesday, mortgage rates are ending the week on a negative note. Rates started out mostly unchanged on the day, however as trader's took profits on recent gains, things took a turn for the worse. Benchmark Treasury yields rose and MBS prices fell...forcing most lenders to reprice for the worse. There was no rhyme or reason to the choppy price action in the rates market. The best explanation we can offer is: It is year end and the markets are very quiet as most money managers and decision makers are on holiday leave.

To end the week...

Reports from fellow mortgage professionals indicate lender rate sheets to be worse.  The par 30 year conventional mortgage rate does however remain in the 4.75% to 5.00% range for well qualified consumers.  To secure a par interest rate you must have a FICO credit score of 740 or higher, a loan to value at 80% or less and pay all closing costs including an estimated one point loan origination/discount/broker fee.   If you are seeking a 15 year term, you should expect a par rate in the 4.125% to 4.375% range with similar fees. 

As a reminder here is what I wrote yesterday:

AQ and MG have been talking about "year end" a lot. They note  "year end" as a very slow time on Wall Street. This implies the marketplace may move in a volatile manner as many traders take holiday vacations while others simply stop trading so the accounting department can clean up the books for shareholder annual review. Basically, unless some form of major headline news is presented, most of the price movement and rates direction we see over the next two weeks will not be indicative of things to come in 2010.

I cannot stress this enough...the rates market is very volatile. If you happen to be floating a loan that is expected to close this month...I WOULD LOCK. No reason for unexpected, random interest rate movements to ruin your holidays.

If you haven’t completed your Christmas shopping yet like myself, check out the Green gift ideas on the Green Home Blog

I hope everyone has a great weekend.